The Bridgnorth and District U3A Geocaching group started in the latter part of 2017, and in 2018, Barbara and Mike Frost together with our geocoaches, Bob Mitchell and Liz Gwyther, setup a U3A caching trail in our local area. The group has now expanded and has four new members. We meet monthly and follow set trails using a GPS cache locator.
The present group is mainly new to geocaching but already we have discovered the joys of discovering hidden treasure in our lovely local countryside. With Bob and Liz’s help we have learnt how to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and find the geocache (container) hidden at that location, using a hint or puzzle. We then record our finds on the geocaching database and map.
For our first geocaching walk we went to Chelmarsh following the trail set by our U3A group. We were delighted to find nearly all of the caches and learn about the fascinating world of geocaching which has its own codes and skills. This carefully concealed stone was one of our first and the cause of great excitement!
Our next adventure took us to Kemberton near Shifnal. Locating one particular cache proved challenging but Sue didn’t give up. The clue was to do with ‘roots’ and she found the cache buried in the roots and rocks up a steep bank.
One of the joys of geocaching is how inventive the people who create the trails and the caches are. This one was found in a bird box. Although mostly the local terrain is familiar, those who hide the caches take us on little known routes (always on public footpaths) using their local knowledge. We are always discovering new places and views.
Geocaching also offers the benefits of fresh air, exercise, visiting new places, teamwork and puzzle solving. A benefit we have discovered is using the geocaching app to help our grandchildren find local caches. It makes walking and exercising more interesting for children; and they enjoy the challenge of solving the puzzles. This makes it an activity to share so the whole family can benefit. Additionally, one of the principles of geocaching is: cache in, trash out! While out on our geocaching walks, we take care to remove rubbish (where safe), and dispose of it properly. In this way we also help care for our local environment.
Are you ready to take up the challenge, maybe start a group of your own? Warning! It can be addictive, but if you like walking, exploring new areas, local history, map reading, technology and puzzles then give geocaching a try.